Understanding The World of LinkedIn
Do you want to get more clued up on the professional social network, LinkedIn? Read here how you can use the ever-growing platform to your career-advantage!
LinkedIn is growing rapidly, and it isn’t giving up anytime soon with more than 500,000,000 users world-wide! While that stratospheric figure is convincing of LinkedIn’s social potential (it is nearly half a billion people), the platform has more going for it than that. It can assist you in finding out what you want out of a career as much as it can help employers find you! It does this through networking and linking together many employers, employees and work professionals every minute across the working world. This blog will run through some key areas of the site and focus on giving you the best advice.
In this digital-age, online visuals are everything, and this is crucial on LinkedIn. For your profile to be received well it is important that you present yourself well! It’s no good uploading your glamorous nights out or beach-getaways from Instagram, or your drunken videos from Snapchat – although the difference between each site is very amusing when compared. Instead, your profile should be consistenty appropriate for potential employers. You can do much more than upload appropriate pictures to contribute to keeping your presentation in check, such as: work and education history, skills and endorsements, and your interests located at the bottom of the page. Having a cohesive and up-to-date profile on LinkedIn will present you in a proactive and organised light – which is, of course, never a bad thing if a potential employer or company happen to stumble across your page…
Today, online-networking is just as essential as physical networking! Try to think of LinkedIn as a virtual career fair, but one that lasts longer than a few hours followed by refreshments. Following on from presentation, in order to be received well, you first need to be seen. This can be achieved through a key activity: interaction with others. If you are new to the platform, you can start doing this through connecting with friends and family, perhaps endorse their skills on their profile pages. Doing this is an easy way to build up your profile. After connecting with friends, family members, and university or work peers, connecting with people in companies you want to work for, or fields you are interested in is an easy way to build up your network and rapport with individuals in the real working world! So, get creative and do not be afraid to connect—and therefore network—with people that you want to, as there is really nothing stopping you!
On LinkedIn, you can make posts as you do on Facebook or Twitter, but it’s probably for the best not to post the same things as you do on those sites, otherwise it could affect your professional online presentation! More than 300,000 posts are published on LinkedIn every week, and it is a useful way to build up your connections and increase your chances of being discovered. Studies show that, on average, 20 posts per month increases your chances of connections or following by 60%, which shows that you can really boost your networking from making posts! It’s even better if your posts are related to the field you want to work in and reach a potential employer – I mean, wouldn’t it be good to appear on a hopeful-employer’s feed with challenges faced in their industry being so eloquently addressed by yourself? At the same time, though, reading posts and exploring LinkedIn in more depth might just surprise you. You might find an employer, individual, company, or project that takes your professional-fancy! Be creative, outgoing, and shrewd with your own posts, and ones that you engage with – you never know what may happen by doing so!
Ah, the most fundamental aspect of LinkedIn: the working world. Thousands of jobs are posted on the platform every single day, and they are tailored to your interests and searches – which saves you a lot of hassle if the right one comes to you! A great thing about LinkedIn is that the platform enables you to apply through it, rather than always externally to another website. You can even apply through LinkedIn whilst on another job board; this is why ensuring all your information is up-to-date is key.
When going to interviews, it is expected that you do your research about the company in preparation. What better way to do this than looking up the employers and company on LinkedIn, because it is most likely that they can be found on the site. Plus, it is a great indication of research, interest, and intuitiveness! There are many jobs advertised on the platform – you can even see if your university’s alumni work there – and so why not make the most of it when it makes the application process so much easier? Even if there are not jobs that you want directly advertised, you never know what your networking may lead to!
One final thought…
As you may have realised, these four areas of LinkedIn—presentation, interaction, posts, and jobs—overlap and impact one another all the time. LinkedIn is constantly growing and ever-changing, in parallel to the working world itself! Whilst it can be daunting if you assume everyone else with many connections are experts; remember they did not get there without being: outgoing, creative and using their initiative. LinkedIn is an excellent modern platform which assists you to market yourself effectively to potential employers, companies, and engage in new opportunities!